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Employee told to ‘resign or be dismissed' receives £13,000

Posted: 21st April 2020   In: Business Employment, Individual Employment

A cleaning company has been ordered to pay a former employee almost £13,000 in compensation after a tribunal ruled she had been unfairly dismissed.

Mrs Sparks began working for DB Cleaners as an administrator in 2012. Three years later the company was bought out by a larger firm who installed their own managers to oversee operations.

In 2019, a disciplinary process began against Sparks after it was discovered that she had been receiving a 100% discount on cleaning services.

She claimed she had the permission of her branch manager who had awarded her the perk in 2015 as compensation for the new company owners unilaterally reducing her salary by £3,000 per year.

The company said the discount was for directors only. Much of Sparks’ workload was transferred to other members of staff so she raised a grievance with her area manager Mr Steed.

During a meeting, Steed had Sparks sign a document headed “without prejudice negotiations”. He asked how much money it would take for her to leave her job, but she insisted she didn’t want to leave.

Steed offered Sparks £1,500 plus her wages to the end of the month to leave and told her to consider the offer overnight. She rejected it the next day.

A week later Sparks was offered an increased payment of £2,000 to leave.

Sparks was told that if she did not accept the offer then the company would find a way to get rid of her another way, leaving her with nothing.

Sparks took the case to an Employment Tribunal and won her case of unfair dismissal.

The judge dismissed the company’s claim that Sparks entered into negotiations freely, saying “nothing could be further from the truth”, adding that Sparks had been misled and pressurised despite maintaining throughout that she did not want to leave.

The tribunal awarded her compensation of £12,897.95.

This was reduced by 10% to reflect the small chance that she may have been dismissed fairly had the company gone through the correct procedures.

Please contact David Rushmere if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.

Employee told to ‘resign or be dismissed’ receives £13,000
Case Number 1601082/2019
EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS
Mrs S Sparks v DB Cleaners and Launderers Ltd
Cardiff 19 February 2020
Employment Judge N W Beard (Sitting Alone)
Posted by: David Rushmere
Employment
Luton Office